NYC Construction Pioneer: 1912

NYC Construction Pioneer: 1912

New York City construction entrepreneur John D. Crimmins holding fishing rod and reel with three saltwater fish hanging on railing. Photo taken in 1912. LOC original medium: photographic print.

From georgetown.edu:

The son of Irish immigrant Thomas Crimmins and Joanna O'Keefe, he was born in New York City in 1844 and raised in an upper middle class home. After graduating from St. Franics Xavier College High School, he joined his father's contracting firm as a partner, taking over as president in 1873. Under his direction, the firm experienced rapid growth, employing up to 12,000 people at its height. His firm played a prominent role in the renovation and construction of what would become "modern New York City," building most of the city's elevated railways, many of its buildings, hospitals, and churches, and laying the first underground lines for telegraph and telephone cables. One observer once wrote: "few New Yorkers have set their mark deeper upon the very form and structure of the city. In the laying out and construction of streets, of parks and parkways, of great buildings, and in the services rendered in the creation of institutions which are the city's pride." Much of Crimmins' success was attributed to his innovative use of the steam drill for excavation work.